Despite the season-ending upset of Fresno State and the presence of prolific quarterback David Fales, San Jose State is not going bowling.

It's tough way for coach Ron Caragher to start his tenure and a brutal way for the seniors, including Fales, to end their careers.

But the cold, hard truth is the 6-6 Spartans have nobody to blame but themselves.

Had they not blown fourth-quarter leads (at home) against San Diego State and Navy -- or found a way to beat Nevada, one of the worst teams in the Mountain West -- the Spartans probably would have one more game to play.

SJSU can't blame the system. It's not fair, it never has been fair, and it doesn't purport to be fair.

The bowls are big business, and they do everything possible to create matchups that will sell the most tickets, attract the most television viewers and satisfy their sponsors and business partners (i.e., the affiliated conferences).

Perhaps more than anything else, the bowls favor ascendant teams with energized fans. Energized fans buy tickets and watch games.

SJSU was a hot team last season, when it became bowl eligible for the first time in six years and finished with 11 victories.

The problem this year isn't simply SJSU's .500 record. It's the .500 record on the heels of an 11-2 season.

The Spartans aren't fresh. They aren't hot, and they're five wins under last year's total -- that's a tough sell to bowl officials.


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Teams with modest fan support and tradition cannot leave anything to chance. The Spartans learned that the hard way in 2008, when 68 teams received bowl bids and they were No. 69. They were reminded of it Sunday.

The seniors deserved better, but sentimentality rarely matters in the bowl business.

A look at winners and losers from bowl selection day:

Winner: The Bowl Championship Series. In its final year of existence, the BCS produced a title game (Florida State vs. Auburn) with no controversy and maximum credibility.

Loser: The Pac-12. The conference has one team in the BCS while three inferior leagues (ACC, Big 12 and Big Ten) each have two. #eatyourown

Winner: The Pac-12. Set a league record with nine bowl-eligible teams -- and found homes for all of them.

Loser: The Mountain West. Missed out on the BCS exposure and paycheck when Fresno State lost, then couldn't find a home for SJSU.

Winner: The Rose Bowl. Michigan State against Stanford isn't the sexiest matchup, but it's the Big Ten vs. the Pac-12 in the 100th Granddaddy, and that's all that matters.

Loser: The Fiesta Bowl. Baylor vs. Central Florida? Yikes. But that's the way the ball bounces -- er, the rotation falls. The Fiesta had the last pick and got UCF.

Winner: Fight Hunger Bowl. The San Francisco-based game will match Washington and BYU, two of the most successful programs in the West.

Loser: Oregon. Had the Ducks shown up in Tucson, they would probably be headed to the Rose Bowl, if not the national championship.

Winner: Stanford. The Cardinal is making its fourth consecutive BCS appearance -- the longest active streak in the country.

Loser: Stanford: Had the Cardinal shown up in Salt Lake City, it could be headed to the national championship.

Winner: The Sugar Bowl. As football brands go, it doesn't get much better than Alabama vs. Oklahoma and their 21 combined national titles.

Loser: The uninvited. San Jose State has company: A handful of 6-6 teams from non-power conferences were left home, including Troy, Florida Atlantic and Central Michigan.

Winner: College football. The four-team playoff starts next season.

  • Here is a tease for the Stanford story
    xxx. PAGE 3

  • Here is a teaste for SJSU story
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    xx. PAGE 3

  • FBC notes tease
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    xxxx. PAGE 3

  • Complete bowl schedule, times, matchups PAGE 3


  • Fight Hunger Bowl (Dec. 27 at
    AT&T Park in S.F.): BYU vs. Washington

  • Rose Bowl (Jan. 1 at Pasadena):
    Stanford vs. Michigan State

  • BCS Championship Game (Jan. 6
    at Pasadena): Florida State vs. Auburn